Alesund

Ålesund is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. After a devastating 1904 fire destroyed much of downtown, the city was rebuilt in an art nouveau style with many of the buildings overlooking a canal that runs through downtown. From Åndalsnes we travelled 55 miles south to Ålesund, stopping for a few nights…

Maine: It’s About The Light

Painters, photographers and yacht designers have been drawn to Maine for centuries. Between the light and varied subject matter, it …Read More

Sept. 16 – Old Québec, QC

“Love is the food of life, travel is dessert.” – Anonymous 

Just a short blog today to let everyone know we left Montreal this morning and headed east. We arrived in Québec City around lunch and the weather is amazing…we’ve finally found some nice temps. It’s been crazy hot up here and in upstate NY lately. We had a wonderful day wandering around Old Québec. I will give more details (and pictures) when I have time. For now here’s a look at the place we’re staying and Stan’s birthday dinner.
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16 September 2018 – Great Bridge, VA – North River, NC – Belhaven, NC – Morehead City, NC – Snead’s Ferry, NC, Oxbow/Waccamaw, NC, Johns Island, SC – Cumberland Island, GA – Ortega Landing, FL

1 – This morning we left Great Bridge, VA, and spent the night in North River, NC. Nature treated us to a beautiful sky all day. Even at our slow pace, seems as if we got to NC exceedingly quickly. Imagine because this is our Final Cruise and we want each day to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out for as long as possible.



2 – Up and at ’em leaving our anchorage and relishing the exquisite sunrise.


     Coincidentally, our sailing friends, Robert and Tracy were sailing back home in Oriental and we passed each other “like ships in the night.” They took a photo of us and we of them, however they did a much better job for us than we did.


















3 – Labor Day morning, we saw this 42 foot Grady White sporting four 425 HP outboards. Would love to see that at full throttle. Seems like he could become airborne. That will make for some pretty expensive fish.


                              Isn’t this guy the cutest little puppy!!!


     In northern NC, we found every nanometer of our boat covered in blind mosquitoes, AKA Midges. They lay black gelatinous eggs that are the devil to remove and they were everywhere those critters went. Certainly didn’t want them propagating in our domain. And even worse, they poop tiny little specks of green dots. 


     We went into Morehead City Yacht Basin to scrub the boat inside and out. Wish I’d taken a photo of our bridge enclosure and our dingy cover. There wasn’t a spot as big as a pencil point not covered by those things.  We’d put in a long, hot day and boat washing was the last thing we had any inclination of doing but there wasn’t any other choice. I multi-tasked by also doing laundry. Someone told me once that multi-tasking is the result of being scatter-brained. Could be!


     What a lovely surprise to see old boating buds, Diane and Louis, walking down the dock to welcome us. They wanted to take us to dinner but laundry was still in the process of becoming clean again and we were in dire need of showers so weren’t able to accept their sweet offer.


4 – This morning we went to breakfast with Louis and Diane to an old family owned restaurant in Morehead City. We love going to dives–not that this was one but it was definitely immensely local. All the servers know our friends–’twas like one big family. We had an enormous breakfast.


 On Tuesdays they serve chicken livers which Diane and I both love so after a brief “rest” from breakfast, we were back for lunch and had to hurry before they ran out. They’ve lived in that area for eons so gave us a wonderful tour of the city and of their home. Exquisite is the only word to describe their home. Wish I’d taken a photo.


5 – We left Morehead and cruised to Snead’s Ferry. Don’t know what it is about us and sinking boats but this one, with two Yamahas, sank just before we arrived.




6 – Sunrise as we leaving little Swan Point Marina, we headed toward Southport to visit and have dinner with our boating friends (believe it or not, we DO have friends who aren’t nor have ever been boaters) Kay, Robert, Patsy, and Rick. 



     What delightful hosts are Kay and Robert. They are unquestionably, awesome, friendly, welcoming, and hospitable friends.


7 – Good morning, Baby Moon.

                                         Southport City Marina


     We decided that we need to make tracks so are abandoning our usual cruising style of leaving at 10 AM and anchoring by 3 PM to putting in 12-13 hour days to get south of Florence’s cone.


8 – We left before first light and thankfully the current is with us. Jim Cantore just arrived Wilmington, NC. NOT a good sign!

9 – After 8 ½ hours of bucking the current almost all the way, we’re in one of our favorite anchorages.

      This is the Oxbow, just off the beautiful tannic Waccamaw River, whose shores are lined with graceful, moss-draped cypress trees. Their bases are punctuated with diminutive cypress knees. One of the loveliest areas of the waterway. 


     




     We planned to stop in Little River to visit boating friends, Mary and Larry but those plans were aborted so Mary, came out to wave as we passed and took this photo. Thanks, Mary.




10 – We blew past Wild Dunes/Charleston where we had reservations. So strange to pass places, at our break-neck speed, that we know and love when we wanted to chill there for a while.




     Anchored John’s Island, SC, south of Charleston. 12 hours. 103 miles. We’re exhausted. 3 more days just like this till we get to Jacksonville.


                  I just love the beguiling marshes and the wonderful balm they emit.




10 – Today we had several magic dolphin shows with them riding our bow wave and our wake. They would turn on their sides and smile up at us. After all these years, we’ve never grown tired of the dolphin performances.


12 – Mission accomplished! In 5 days we traveled 450 miles and those sweet Ford Lehman engines purred all the way with nary a hiccoup. We pulled into Ortega Landing Marina just off the St. John’s River on the Ortega River in Jacksonville, totally fried! We did absolutely nothing the first two days but sleep. Again, that was not our way of cruising but “you do whatcha gotta do” and we had to get Kindred Spirit III out of Flo’s fury. Prolly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Could never get cool. Couldn’t take enough cold showers. But that’s behind us now and we’re enjoying our time here and are working on choreographing our move to Ocala to our new home. We will close and move in a week from this Friday.


Bill and Laura
Jacksonville, FL

Sept. 15 – Montréal, QC

SpringHill Suites Marriott 
“If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.” – Cesare Pavese
The first stop on our Québec Adventure was Montréal. We spent a few days here in 2012 and thought it would make a nice stop on our way to Québec City. Montréal has many wonderful neighborhoods to explore, but we spent our time in Old Montréal. Old Montréal sits on the edge of the St Lawrence River, it’s the city’s oldest district founded as a fur trading post in 1605 by Samuel de Champlain. It’s composed of picturesque squares and grand old-world architecture. Today the cobblestone streets are full of museums, shops, art galleries, parks, bars and sidewalk cafes. The perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring. We got to town in time for a late lunch at sidewalk cafe at Place Jacques-Cartier. We enjoyed music by street performers while we ate lunch. 

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Fuel Quality Differences

When considering fuel quality, we’ve always thought first about water, rust, and other impurities in the fuel. Knowing we intended to travel the world and expecting poor quality fuel in the many less-developed countries we would visit, we left Seattle with 48 primary filters on board. What we have learned is that fuel quality is…

Québec Adventure

“Fascism is cured by reading and racism is cured by traveling” -Miguel de Unamuno
We’re off on a new adventure…this time by car. We’re heading to Québec City. It’s been on our list of places to visit for a long time. It felt a little daunting to go by boat, so we decided to drive over this week to celebrate the captain’s birthday.

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Prince of Whales Island

Days 71-90 Before continuing south along the inside passage , we make a stop in Petersburg to repair our anchor windlass. Jeff enjoyed working with Aaron the mechanic at Piston and Rudder to replace the seals on our anchor windlass and also did some prevent maintenance cleaning our main engine heat exchanger. An oil change […]

Trollveggen

Trollveggen (“The Troll Wall”) is the highest vertical mountain wall in Europe. The face is 3,600 ft (1,100 metres) from base to summit and scaling it is one of the ultimate mountaineering challenges. With several other difficult climbing peaks in the area, nearby Åndalsnes is considered the mountaineering capital of Norway. Their modern visitor center…

Trollstigen

The dramatic Trollstigen route near Åndalsnes winds up a steep 1:12 gradient through 11 hairpin turns so tight that vehicles longer than 43 ft (13.1m) are prohibited. En route, a narrow bridge carries the road over and beside the spectacular 1,050 ft (320 m) Stigfossen falls. In 2012, Trollstigen was officially opened as a National…